For years, children’s toys have been coming under fire for their lack of diversity. Barbie in particular has been ridiculed as promoting unhealthy body images and portraying only one type of woman. Numerous studies have been done that show how lack of diversity in toys can impact children’s self-esteem and body image, particularly in lack of racial diversity and body weight diversity.
Now, Mattel and Lego, creators of the Barbie and Lego franchises, have responded to meet consumer demands. Mattel just announced a whole new line of Barbie dolls that include dolls with varying skin tones, eye colors, hair types, and body shapes. Furthermore, Lego has announced that in its next toy set, there will be a Lego figurine in a wheelchair.
These are incredibly progressive moves on both companies’ parts, and they will certainly help children all across the world. By seeing more representation in their toys, children will be able to gain greater amounts of self-acceptance and feel more comfortable in their own bodies. They will be able to recognize that their own bodies are accepted, normal, and beautiful.
Furthermore, this shows that these corporations are starting to take responsibility for the messages that they are sending children. They are working to help children feel more satisfied in their own bodies, and it shows that they are taking ownership of the images that their companies are portraying.